The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 2, 2014


News of: Sunday, 31st of January, 2010

Front Page

Kitchens to get prepaid meters

The Titas Gas company has started working on introducing prepaid meters for all consumers on an urgent basis to stop wastage, increase efficient use of natural gas and end the default billing culture.

In eyes of Gen Shafiullah

In this exclusive interview with The Daily Star, Maj Gen (retd) KM Shafiullah, Bir Uttam, who was the army chief when Bangabandhu was killed on August 15, 1975, tells Inam Ahmed and Julfikar Ali Manik what was happening in the army before and after the killings.

PM vows to bring back fugitives

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the six fugitive killers of father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will be brought back home and executed.

Climate change to hit public health hard

Climate change will have an adverse effect on public health -- particularly that of children -- agriculture and environment, health experts said yesterday.

Pilkhana to hold 10 trials in February

Departmental trial of the accused mutineers of Bangladesh Rifles is expected to start at 10 separate points of the Pilkhana headquarters in less than a month.

'Arges' found in Sherpur again

Rab recovered an 'Arges grenade' and arrested five people from Sreebordi upazila of Sherpur district early yesterday for their alleged attempt to implicate a BNP leader in a false case.

BNP moves to hold talks at 6 divisions

BNP, the main opposition in parliament, will hold view-exchange meetings with its grassroots level leaders as part of its plan to reorganise the party across the country.

Little care for mental health

Around 10 percent of mentally ill patients at the National Institute of Mental Health are discharged before completing their course of treatment because they cannot afford the inflated costs of hospital beds.

No respite for Atir Khal

While environmentalists cry loud for saving natural canals, a company continues to fill up century old Atir Khal in Waaspur, opposite to Basila, sealing the fate of this fantastic waterway.

Medical team off to Haiti

A 30-member medical support team left here on Friday for Haiti to provide medical assistance to the earthquake-affected people of Haiti under the mission named 'Operation Caribbean Hope,' said an ISPR release yesterday.

'Criminal' killed in 'shootout'

A criminal was killed in a "shootout" between his cohorts and law enforcers early hours yesterday at Dakshin Rangamatia village in Fatikchhari upazila of Chittagong.

5 killed in Comilla road crash

Five people were killed and 25 others injured in a head-on collision between a bus and a truck at Amjader Bazar on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway in Chouddagram upazila yesterday.

Construction worker shot dead

A construction worker was shot dead yesterday evening at Uttar Moishundi in the city's Sutrapur.

Good start for hosts

After a stunning opening ceremony the other night, Bangladesh made a sound start in their quest for a football gold in the 11th SA Games with a 3-0 win over Nepal at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

DMP on court summons to Khaleda

Police did no wrong by delivering court summons to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at her residence on Tuesday night, DMP Commissioner AKM Shahidul Hoque said yesterday.

Outlaw held at Islamic University

Police arrested an operative of the outlawed Gono Bahini from the campus of Islamic University Friday evening and recovered three bullets and three bombs from his possession.

Serena wins her 12th Slam

An ecstatic Serena Williams fulfilled a long-held goal on Saturday when she drew level with her idol Billie-Jean King by winning a 12th Grand Slam.

China freezes military ties with US

China said yesterday it was suspending military exchanges and security talks with Washington and would impose sanctions on US firms involved in a 6.4 billion-dollar deal to sell arms to Taiwan.

16 killed in Pakistan suicide attack

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a military checkpoint in northwest Pakistan's volatile tribal region yesterday, killing 16 people including two soldiers, officials said.

Gandhi ashes scattered on sea in South Africa

Ashes of Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi, kept for decades by a family friend after his assassination, were scattered Saturday off South Africa's coast, his family said.

Clarification

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) in a clarification said the TIB recommens an independent NGO Commission but not one to be constituted by representatives of the various ministries concerned as reported in The Daily Star report headlined "New regulatory body on cards" published Friday.

Editorial

Student vandalism at trade fair and RUET

THE vandalism which a group of students resorted to at the International Trade Fair in Dhaka on Friday puts all of us to shame. Our embarrassment only gets deeper when we note that at the Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology, students engaged in running battles with the police and bus workers and damaged some administrative offices of RUET. Indeed, incidents of students all too often and on the flimsiest of excuses taking the law in their hands appear to have become the norm, with the authorities clearly proving incapable of coming down on these unruly elements with a firm hand. Such inaction has sent out a very wrong message to people within and outside the country, which is that the unruly young can and do get away with their acts. In the end, it is the image of the larger body of peace-loving, classroom-oriented students that suffers because of the riotous ones in their midst.

SA games with fiesta and fervour

THE colour, aplomb and eclat with which the South Asian games were inaugurated were a befitting tribute to the high water mark that the regional event has reached by now since their inception 27 years ago.

Incongruous with India

IT'S Catch-22. One group cries wolf that our prime minister during her visit this month was trying to sell out this country to India. Another group defends the visit as necessary and successful. Through an avalanche of seminars, discussions, roundtables, speeches, talk shows, newspaper commentaries and editorials, this group is doing what amounts to selling India to this country.

Car craze

PERHAPS there is not anything more unbecoming for a public representative in Bangladesh than not owning a luxury car. The government's decision to revive the privilege of duty-free cars for MPs, which has been a subject of strong public criticism since its introduction in 1987, is yet one more sign.

Sports

Hosts' winning start

A brace from Mamunur Rahman gave Bangladesh a winning start in the hockey competition of the 11th South Asian (SA) Games when they handed a 3-1 defeat to Sri Lanka at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

And first gold goes to India

India grabbed the first gold of the 11th South Asian (SA) Games when their women's team won the 30-kilometre road race time trail here in Khulna on Saturday.

Zoran's boys win big

Bangladesh made a perfect start in the football event of the 11th South Asian Games when the hosts handed an emphatic 3-0 defeat to two-time champions Nepal at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Aussie Open Serena's

Defending champion and top seed Serena Williams powered to her fifth Australian Open title and 12th Grand Slam when she beat a brave Justine Henin 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 on Saturday.

Embarrassing!

Organisers were once again embarrassed when the start of badminton was delayed by 45 minutes due to electricity cut-off at the newly-build Wooden-Floor Gymnasium on the second day of the 11th South Asian Games yesterday.

Medals confirmed

Bangladesh made a bright start in the badminton competition of the 11th South Asian Games as the hosts confirmed their semifinal berth in both men's and women's team events at the wooden floor gymnasium yesterday.

KKR not coming

Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisee Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will not visit Bangladesh in the first week of February as it was earlier announced.

Cricket begins in Rajshahi today

The cricket competition of the 11th South Asian Games kicks off today with hosts Bangladesh taking on Nepal at the Shahid Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi.

Tigers reach New Zealand

The Tigers landed in New Zealand in the early hours of Saturday to play one Twenty20 and three one-day internationals and a Test against the Black Caps.

BKSP clinch Dhaka Metro schools title

BKSP clinched the Dhaka Metro title of the Standard Chartered Young Tigers Under-16 School Cricket Tournament with a 54-run victory over Willes Little Flower School in a low-scoring final at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Andy ready for Roger test

Andy Murray says he is fresher, physically stronger and ready to play the match of his life as he chases his Grand Slam breakthrough win against Roger Federer in Sunday's Australian Open final.

Fifth & final ODI today

Avoiding humiliation is probably as great a motivator as anything and it is only the thought of preventing the second-ever 5-0 whitewash in their history that will spur Pakistan to seek their first win of a long and increasingly arduous tour of Australia. That the first came under the captaincy of Imran Khan, against West Indies in 1988, will be of little consolation.

Greatbatch new NZ coach

New Zealand ended a three-month global search for a national cricket coach Saturday with the appointment of former local Test batsman Mark Greatbatch.

'Test performance should inspire WI'

An encouraging performance in the Tests in Australia last year should inspire West Indies to challenge Ricky Ponting's team in the upcoming five-match ODI series, David Williams, the interim coach, has said. West Indies were beaten convincingly in the first Test in Brisbane, but fought back to draw the second in Adelaide before losing by a narrow margin of 35 runs in Perth.

Squash duo bids bye

Despite winning first-round matches, both Masud Rana and Swapan Parvez of Bangladesh were eliminated from the singles quarterfinals of Squash in the 11th South Asian Games at Dhaka Club squash court yesterday.

Dravid has surgery

Rahul Dravid's participation in the Test series against South Africa looks increasingly unlikely after doctors advised him two to three weeks' rest following surgery on his cheekbone in Bangalore on Friday. He had injured his upper left jaw earlier this week after ducking into a short ball from Shahadat Hossain during the second Test against Bangladesh.

Pakistan could revamp ODI squad

Iqbal Qasim, Pakistan's chief selector, has said 'major surgery' is required on the country's ODI outfit after they slumped to their fourth straight defeat in the five-match series against Australia.

Crespo back to Parma

Hernan Crespo has said he was "speechless" with delight after leaving Genoa to return to Parma, the club where the Argentine forward made his name in the late 1990s.

Australia win World Cup

Australia's next generation of cricketers proved they are primed to make it to the top when they won the under 19 cricket World Cup on Saturday, beating Pakistan by 25 runs in the final.

Fergie slams Wenger

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Arsene Wenger "has let himself" down over comments the Arsenal manager has made about Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher.

Champs v young guns

Defending champions Egypt have steamrollered their way into Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations final where they must now overcome a youthful Ghana side to claim a third consecutive continental crown.

Zaccheroni targets CL

Juventus on Friday named Alberto Zaccheroni as their new coach in place of Ciro Ferrara, who was sacked after a string of poor results.

Togo suspended for next 2 ANC

Togo, who pulled out of the Africa Cup of Nations after a terrorist attack on their team bus, have been banned for the next two editions of the tournament, the African Football Confederation (CAF) said Saturday.

Wilshere joins Bolton

Highly-regarded Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere on Friday joined fellow Premier League side Bolton on loan until the end of the season.

Business

RMG looks to good time

The contribution of readymade garment (RMG) to the national export increases with the rebound of orders from international buyers following a recovery in the global economy, according to trade data of the Export Promotion Bureau.

Trust Bank to go big on biogas fund

Trust Bank, a third generation private commercial bank, will fund for the first time biogas plants on a large scale to help rural people get renewable energy, which will ultimately make them more economically viable, said the bank's chief executive.

Economy shows signs of pick-up

The rise in collection of VAT and imports of capital machinery and industrial raw materials in the first six months this fiscal year showed clear signs that increased trade and commerce and investments are helping domestic economy pick up, officials say.

RAK holds roadshow for investors

RAK Ceramics, a Bangladesh-UAE joint venture, will offer primary shares to institutional investors in next three weeks after discovering the price of each share using the book building method.

ACI bond subscription starts today

Supply to the primary share market is increasing this week with the offers of bond and mutual fund by two companies.

Davos ends with recovery warning

The world economy is recovering but remains fragile and dogged by huge deficits, top officials said Saturday at the end of a blue-chip Davos summit clouded by divisions over banking reform.

Indian minister invited to deal signing

India's Minister of State (with independent charge) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Dinsha Patel has been invited to visit Bangladesh to attend the signing of a bilateral agreement on cooperation in the MSME sector likely in March.

Bird flu rattles poultry farms in Sirajganj

Bird flu panic has gripped again the poultry farm owners in Sirajganj, as the avian flu was detected in two farms here last Tuesday.

Saarc-China trade may cross $75b this year

The trade between Saarc and China has witnessed considerable growth from $13 billion in the year 2000 to $50 billion in 2008 and is expected to surpass $75 billion mark by the end of 2010.

Ctg shop owners threaten strike

Shop owners yesterday threatened to enforce a half-day strike in Chittagong on February 3, demanding eviction of hawkers from all sidewalks in the port city.

Summit to push for WTO Doha deal, Brazil suggests

Brazil has suggested that world leaders meet to give a final push to long-standing negotiations for a global trade pact, World Trade Organisation chief Pascal Lamy said Saturday.

DAE sets boro output targets for Dinajpur, Jhenidah

Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) expects to achieve the production target of 6,46,860 tonnes of boro rice in the district this season.

New ERF execs

Economic Reporters Forum has elected Monowar Hossain as president and Abu Kawser general secretary, says the forum in a statement yesterday.

On course to a logistics hub

Bangladesh is moving upward in the world ranking in logistics, and so is the confidence of the global logistics service providers operating here.

Regulators tell bankers new rules coming

Government regulators from the United States and Europe laid out their financial reform plans Saturday before a sceptical banking industry, asking financiers for input but adamant that change was coming with or without their support.

US growth spur drives markets higher

An unexpectedly strong fourth quarter growth spurt in the United States sparked a jump in European share prices Friday, with investors also hunting for bargains after recent losses.

Crude oil prices climb after US growth figures

Oil prices rose Friday, reversing some of this week's losses, as traders welcomed better-than-expected economic growth data in the United States.

India 3G auction may be delayed again

India's multi-billion-dollar auction of third-generation (3G) radio frequency aimed at giving mobile users faster Internet and other services may be delayed again, reports said Saturday.

Toyota chief apologises for massive vehicle recall

Toyota's president has apologised for the recall of millions of cars around the world due to faulty accelerator pedals, in a setback that has tarnished the Japanese giant's reputation for quality.

Obama promises to rein in US budget deficit

US President Barack Obama on Saturday promised to rein the burgeoning US budget deficit, saying it was now time for Americans of different political persuasions "to come together" to solve this problem.

China's procurement policy deepens strains: US experts

The United States' economic relations with China are headed into the rocks, with Beijing's new government procurement policy delivering a major blow, US experts said Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

Jan 24-Jan 28, 2010
International Markets

The international financial markets were rattled by news of US President Barack Obama's plan to reign in the risk taking behaviour of financial firms. This let to a sharp increase in risk aversion, with equity markets across the globe taking a hit. On Thursday the higher yielding currencies clawed back most of those losses after US President Barack Obama did not announce any new measures to restrict the financial sector. This sparked a recovery in risk appetite, with the Australian and New Zealand dollar pushing up against the USD. The euro slipped on Thursday, hovering near a 6 1/2-month low against the dollar as investors remained wary on concerns over heavily indebted smaller euro zone countries such as Greece and Portugal. The dollar gained support after Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig dissented from the Fed's pledge to keep rates low "for an extended period", bolstering the market's view that rates may start to rise later in the year. Analysts warned the euro was heading for more losses as concerns rise about the grim fiscal conditions in the euro zone. Greek government bond yields have shot up on concerns over how Athens will pay its debts. As a result, the 10-year Greek/Bund spread blew out on Thursday to its widest since Greece joined the euro in 2001. Analysts said markets were aware other countries' fiscal positions may also be vulnerable.

Metropolitan

Lack of coordination distances AL from govt

A gap has opened between the ruling party and the government due to lack of coordination since the government assumed office in January last year, the grassroots level leaders of the Awami League said yesterday.

AL kicks off membership recruitment campaign

The ruling Awami League kicked off its membership recruitment and renewal drive yesterday with the renewal of the membership of party president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

A rare case of foetus growing outside womb

Doctors at Holy Family Red Crescent Hospital yesterday operated on a pregnant woman to remove a foetus of 14 weeks, which was growing outside the mother's womb.

Bridge divide among journalists: Azad

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday called upon the journalists to take vow to bridge the divide in the journalist community in the greater national interest.

Prof Delwar, Dr Kamal DU History Alumni president, secy

Prof M Delwar Hossain and Dr AH Ahmed Kamal were elected president and general secretary of Dhaka University History Department Alumni Association (DUHDAA) at its 11th reunion at TSC on Friday.

Four killed in road crashes

Four people were killed in separate road accidents in Satkhira, Kurigram, and Thakurgaon yesterday.

Vested quarters attack Santu Larma to foil peace process

Speakers at a protest meeting yesterday said vested quarters opposing CHT Peace Accord attacked Santu Larma with a plot to thwart peace process in the hilly areas.

Birth anniversary of Justice Abu Sayeed today

Today is the 88th birth anniversary of late Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury, the second president of Bangladesh, says a press release.

Appeal for help

Udoy Roy, a student of class three at Kaharuhat Shishu Niketon in Panchagarh, has been suffering from aplastic anaemia for the last six months.

Try war criminals to ensure nat'l security

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said the war criminals of 1971 have to be brought to book immediately in order to ensure security of the country and its people.

Find out reasons for fall in ranking of universities

Worried by the fall in ranking of the universities, President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the education ministry and the University Grants Commission (UGC) to take proper steps to find out why the universities are falling behind the international standard.

India, Bangladesh to work together for regional peace

Indian High Commissioner Rajeet Mitter yesterday expressed his hope that the two neighbouring countries, India and Bangladesh, will work hand in hand to establish peace and congenial atmosphere in this region, saying that India is sincere in its commitment.

One million suffer from cancer, say experts

Experts at a symposium said about one million people are now suffering from cancer in country while about 1,50,000 people die of cancer every year in the fatal disease.

Locals, drug peddlers clash

At least five people were injured in a series of clashes between local people and drug peddlers sale of drug in Langolbandh area in Bandar upazila of Narayanganj.

Trial of culprits demanded

Rights activists of National Girl Child Advocacy Forum formed a human chain in the city yesterday, demanding trial of the culprits responsible for Pinky's suicide.

Woman found dead

A young woman was found dead in a drain near a garments factory in a residential area in Narayanganj town yesterday.

Two children drown in Narayanganj

Two children drowned in a pond at Minar Bari under Bandar upazila in Narayanganj on Friday evening.

Arrested Pasha not our worker

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) yesterday claimed that Pasha, who was arrested on charges of wielding arms during a clash between two factions of JCD on the Dhaka University campus on January 18, is not its worker.

Trade fair car vandalism: None held yet

Even after 24 hours, police did not arrest any cadres of Bangladesh Chhatra League, outsiders and students of Sher-e-Bangla Agriculture University who vandalised more than 100 vehicles and looted valuables of the visitors to International Trade Fair on Friday night.

Binod an inspiration to fight evils, odds

Speakers at a discussion yesterday said revolutionary Binod Bihari Chowdhury is a source of inspiration for the new generation to fight against all evils and odds.

National

Bring to book culprits who attacked Larma: PCJSS

Leaders of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) have demanded punishment to the criminals responsible for Wednesday's attack on indigenous leaders in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

3 families asked to leave home for safety

A Bapex team yesterday visited the areas around the abandoned Tengratila Gas field where emission of gas through leakages has gone up. They advised the inmates of three families near the gas field to stay away from their homesteads

Police sue 100 Ruet students

Police yesterday filed a case accusing more than a hundred students of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet) of attacking law enforcers on Friday.

5 commit 'suicide' in Satkhira in 2 days

Five people including two schoolgirls allegedly committed suicide in the district on Thursday and Friday.

Textile students on indefinite class boycott

Students of Tangail Textile Institute yesterday started boycotting classes and examinations for an indefinite period to press home their five-point demand.

Grisly acid attacks on teenage girl, housewife

A teenage girl and a young housewife received burn injuries in two incidents of acid attack in Munshiganj and Satkhira on Tuesday.

4 of 'Jiner Badsha' gang caught in Gaibandha

Police arrested six cheats including four members of 'Jiner Badsha' gang in Gaibandha and Niphamari districts on Monday and Tuesday.

12 houses, 18 shops and sugarcane field gutted

At least 12 houses and 18 shops besides a sugarcane field have been gutted in fire in four districts.

Four outlaws arrested in Madaripur

Shibchar police in a six-hour long drive yesterday arrested four outlaws including Hasa Bhuiyan.

Tragic

Sajib, 15, an SSC examinee from Rajoir KGS Institution died as a ball accidentally hit his head while playing cricket at the institution ground yesterday noon.

Youth beaten to death

A youth was beaten to death yesterday morning by criminals at south Khejurbagh in South Keraniganj. Victim Al-Amin, 25, is son of Kiran Mia of Kanapatti Par Gendaria village. Quoting witnesses, police said 7-8 armed criminals including Azizul, Abul, Tuhin and Mujibar abducted Al-Amin from his house at 9:00am. They took him to the south Khejurbagh area and beat him to death after tying up his hands and legs. Later, they also gouged out his eyes. On information, police recovered the body and sent it to Mitford Hospital morgue for autopsy. A case was filed.

Fertiliser seized: 2 held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday recovered 46 bags of smuggled Indian fertiliser from a godown at Fatamohammedpur village in Ishwardi upazila. Rab arrested two workers but the owner of the warehouse went into hiding. Acting on a tip-off, a Rab-12 team and police jointly raided Abdul Latif's godown and recovered the banned MOP fertiliser. The arrestees are Md Hatem Ali and Md Abdul Malek. They were repacking the smuggled fertiliser for marketing, Rab sources said.

Loan defaulter jailed

A tribunal here on Thursday sentenced a man to one year rigorous imprisonment on charge of loan default. Convict Amir Hossain, owner of Arafat Paints and Hossain Traders in the city, was present on the dock when the judge pronounced the verdict. The court also fined him Tk 36,54,101, in default, to suffer one month more in jail. According to the prosecution, Amir Hossain took an amount of Tk 12,18,033 as loan from the branch of Al Arafa Islami Bank in 2004. But he failed to repay the installments of the loan. Six cheques given against the installments were also dishonoured by the bank. The bank lodged a case against Amir on February 24, 2005.

Tribute to Jyoti Basu

A meeting was held on Friday evening at Nazrul Pathagar in Panchagarh town to pay tribute to veteran Marxist leader and India's longest serving chief minister Jyoti Basu. Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) Panchagarh district unit organised the meeting also to discuss his charismatic political carrier. Different professionals, students, teachers and many elderly left party workers attended. Paying tribute to Jyoti Basu at the discussion, the speakers said that Basu was the icon of communist movement in the sub-continent. Central committee member of CPB Altaf Hossain Prodhan attended the function as chief guest while Panchagarh district unit president Shafiur Rahman presided.

Bhola Bar executives

The pro-Awami League lawyers' panel swept the District Bar Association election held on Friday. Out of 12 posts, the pro-AL panel won eight posts including president while BNP backed lawyers' panel got four posts including general secretary. Advocate AKM Nasiruddin was elected president while M Firoz Kibria general secretary. Other office bearers are vice-presidents: Syed Mustafizur Rahman and MUM Obaidullah, assistant general secretaries: M Zakir Hossain and Mohammad Yusuf, religious and cultural secretary: Bashiruddin Ahmed and library secretary: Umesh Chandra Majumder and assistant library secretary: Abul Kashem. Executive committee members are M Ruhul Amin, Shah Alam Shikdar and Zakir Hossain Monu. A total of 111 out of 114 voters exercised their franchise in the election.

Girl's body recovered

Police recovered the body of an unidentified young girl from Dakkhin Islampur area of the district town on Friday. Locals saw the body in the morning and informed police. Later, the law-enforcers recovered the body and sent it to hospital morgue for autopsy. Police suspect that the girl might have been killed by criminals after rape. A case was filed.

Fugitive convict held

Manikganj Sadar police on Friday night arrested a life term fugitive convict from his father-in-law's house at east Khalilpur village under Harirampur police station. Acting on a tip-off, assistant sub inspectors Habibur Rahman and Khairuzzaman went to the spot and arrested Salam, 55, son of Wajuddin of Bhararia village in Manikganj Sadar upazila at around 9:00 pm, officer-in-charge (OC) of Manikganj Sadar police station Azizul Haque said. On August 31 in 1996, Additional District and Sessions Judge sentenced Salam to life term rigorous imprisonment (RI) and fined Tk 20, 000, in default, one year more RI for killing his sister's husband and robbery at his house at Baitora village in 1992.

Four get life in Habiganj

A court in Habiganj town on Thursday afternoon sentenced four people to life term imprisonment for hurling acid on a housewife. The convicts are: Sazid Miah, Yakub Miah, Nahid Miah and Farid Miah (absconding). The district and sessions judge of Habiganj, Mahbub Ul Alam passed the judgement. Prosecution story, in brief, is that the accused on January 31, 2007, locked in a dispute with Parveen Akhter, wife of Tota Miah, over an approach road at their Paikura village in Chunarughat upazila. The accused later on February 1 entered the house of Parveen by breaking open the doors and hurled acid on her at about 2:30 am injuring her seriously. Victim's son Ful Miah filed a case with the Chunarughat police station the next day.

Letters

Our ports

Chittagong port is one of the costliest ports in terms of freight. Ship owners have increased freight a number of times due to delay in getting berth and thereby unloading cargo. Moreover, expensive dredging in the Karnaphuli River had to be carried all round the year to keep the port running. Under the circumstances, consultants were engaged to study in detail and submit recommendations. Consultants studied in detail for a long time and termed the port dead. They recommended going for a deep seaport further down. I had an occasion to attend a meeting at the naval headquarters, Dhaka, to review the report and recommend action. The meeting was adjourned without decision. The Mongla port also needs massive investment to cater to freight from Nepal, Bhutan and India.

New Year pessimism

The general elections are being held at regular intervals, but the political culture is not improving. It indirectly means that the feedback from millions of voters have no democratic effect on the ruling political regimes.

Fatal addiction

Drug addiction is now an alarming problem throughout the world. In recent years, drug addiction increased significantly in Bangladesh. The local and international organizations are also alarmed by the current rate of addiction. Surveys show that about ten percent of the patients of our hospitals are cases of drug addiction and the addicts are generally young men averaging 22 years of age.

Five killers hanged

The five killers paid for their brutality and sins against Bangabandhu family and Bangladesh. However, 'merciful' hanging of these five sadists could hardly atone for the 15August (1975) victims (and millions of people who died before the Supreme Court final verdict on Bangabandhu killing was delivered in 2009).

Haiti disaster

All of us should take a lesson from this humanitarian disaster.

Century-old tracks

In Bangladesh, railway is the oldest mode of transportation since British period. When the British colonizers ruled our sub-continent, they built up the railways. In our lands they made rail lines and since the independence and post-war Pakistan, no new tracks were set up and what we are using now were made by the British. But as everything is transitory, with the passage of time those railway tracks now are in dilapidated condition and still we have to use them.

Rivers

The front-page picture of your daily of January 24 is shocking and devastating.

Pope and Jews

Regarding the AP article “Pope defends Pius against Jewish critics at Rome Synagogue”, January 18, 2010.

Campus violence

It is distressing that police seized, raiding different dormitories of a reputed college like Dhaka College, a revolver and a number of sharp weapons last week. Moreover, opening the newspaper, we constantly find pictures of violent mobs coming into collision with opposition party vandalizing vehicles and burning them on the roads.

Better performance needed

A business report published in the DS business page with the headline "Bangladesh moves up in trade logistics efficiency", drew my attention and made me happy.

Cheating by shopkeepers

I refer to the two recent letters published in your daily on the above subject. Being a housewife myself, I am facing this problem every day. It appears there is no one in our government who is concerned about his matter.

A movie or a magic?

Avatar is the tale of a former Marine who finds himself forced into hostilities on an alien planet crammed with unusual life forms. As an Avatar, an individual mind in an alien body, he finds himself ragged between two worlds, in a frantic clash for his own survival and that of the aboriginal populace.

Student politics?

Before being a student of university I heard about the negative sides of student politics from seniors. Since I have admitted myself in a public university, now I am a disappointed spectator of brutal and horrible student politics in our motherland. I started my 1st day of university on 17 December 2004 and I got the chance to count the black and disgraceful days of student politics in our country. I cannot tell you the correct figure of slaughtered students but I can understand the feelings of those families. They are helpless.

One year of the govt.

Our opinion on one year of Awami League govt.? Do we have freedom of press and right to information?

Education

Education is the back bone of a nation. I hope the present government will see the point.

Good humour

Recently, Dr. Rajiv Shah was sworn in as the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Dr Rajiv in his swearing-in function presented a long speech highlighting various aspects and goals of the USAID. I have gone through the full text but I liked the humour Dr. Rajiv had presented in the beginning of his speech which I would like to share with fellow readers. It read: “When I began preparing my remarks for today, I asked my wife, Shivam, for advice. She told me - when you get on stage and everyone is cheering for Secretary Clinton, just pretend they're cheering for you.”

From limousine to bus

From limousine to public buses could not stop the outgoing CEO of JAL (Japan Air Lines) from heading towards bankruptcy. He cut his own pay, took meals in company cafeteria, and even came to office on public bus to contain costs, but all to no avail! The Japanese government now has brought Inamouri, a Buddhist priest, to try and bail out JAL from "Financial Jail"-- so to speak! This AFP news report was published in a local English daily on January 19th.

Chittagong Test and clouds

I am currently reading a fascinating book (“Prescription for the Planet”, Tom Bless). It's a must-read for anyone interested in air pollution, global warming, alternative energy uses and ultimately an energy solution for the mother earth.

Political culture

The political culture of Bangladesh is termed by many as confrontational. This simply means such a form of political culture which is very much antagonistic and instigative. Almost each and every political party of Bangladesh is not railed in the right path of development, rather each of them is derailed from the genuine direction of democratic polity. This unexpected and abominable political practices not only deter development initiatives but also cause a number of problems. Such a form of hostile and ill political motive seriously deprives the common people from the light of overall development. In our country, this sort of politics has been a crucial issue. Because of the absence of an appropriate democratic polity we do not see proper co-ordination and co-operation among the political parties. For example, our leading opposition party, the BNP is hardly concerned to play a constructive role in terms of participation in parliament. On the other hand, the AL-led grand alliance, current ruling party, is also a bit reluctant to listening to the grievances and demands of the BNP.

RMG workers

From the January 26, 2010 issue of The Daily Star, we learned about RMG workers going on rampage after a road accident in which one of their fellow workers was killed and 14 others injured. It is alleged that they torched 15 vehicles and vandalised many factories. Eight policemen and many people were injured during the violent protest.

Save democracy

General Moyeen U Ahmed is proved to be justified to take action against the allegedly corrupt politicians. It is strange to see that they have learnt nothing, even after such a shake-up. Do they need a second and harder shake-up ? We are just fed up with the falsehoods and politics of terrorism like what happened at Dhaka University a few days back. This is going to be the order of the day if the culprits are not identified and taken to task.

IT and we

It is nice to see that the country moving quite fast in terms of information technology in recent years. The notion of "Digital Bangladesh" is now a concrete truth. The latest proof is the novel and bold step by NCTB in publishing its e-textbooks on its website. With the advent of internet, like every other sphere of life, education has got momentum with never-ending wide range of learning materials and aid being just a click away, that too absolutely free.

International

4 Afghan soldiers killed in clash with Nato forces

Four Afghan soldiers died in a clash yesterday with Nato forces who called in an airstrike after both sides mistook each other for the enemy, the Defence Ministry said, condemning the incident.

Sharif rules out prospects of mid-term Pak polls

Former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has ruled out the prospect of mid-term polls in the country.

Lanka closes opposition newspaper

Police in Sri Lanka shut down the offices of an opposition newspaper yesterday, the weekly said, as international rights groups accused the authorities of a vendetta against critical media.

India may join world powers in engaging with Taliban

India may join world powers in engaging with moderate Taliban in Afghanistan, despite worries about repercussions for its own security, reports said yesterday.

New ideas on Iran nuclear fuel raised at Davos: FM

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has said "new ideas" on the supply of nuclear fuel to Iran were raised in talks with French and Brazilian officials in Davos, reports said yesterday.

Disease stalks quake survivors

Haiti's government and UN agencies yesterday prepared for a mass vaccination drive as potentially deadly diseases such as diarrhoea sprung up at squalid camps housing desperate quake survivors.

US backs away from 9/11 trial in Manhattan

The White House looked likely to reverse course on plans to bring the alleged plotters of the September 11 attacks to trial at a Manhattan courthouse, amid mounting and bipartisan opposition.

Warning over HR situation in Somalia

The UN independent expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Dr Shamsul Bari, issued a strong warning on the security, human rights and humanitarian situation in Somalia, says a press release issued from Geneva.

Iran puts 16 protesters on trial

Iran put 16 people detained during anti-government protests last month on trial yesterday on charges of rioting and conspiring against the ruling system, Iran's state media reported.

Arts & Entertainment

Call to uphold folk culture and traditions

Amid much enthusiasm, a two-day festival began here in the port city on Friday with a call to uphold and nurture the folk traditions -- the root of Bengali culture.

A brilliant compilation of Radha Raman’s tunes

The album "Radha Ramaner Gaan" won in the Best Folk Music (Loko Sangeet) category for the year 2008 at the recent 5th Citycell Channel i Music Awards.

Playing from the heart

Ustad Shahabuddin Khan creates a mesmerising environment with his flute. Today he is a renowned flutist not just in Mymensingh region but also in the country.

Aamir as Guru Dutt?

A biopic on famous filmmaker Guru Dutt is to be made and imagine who will play his role? Well, it could be none other than Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan.

South Asia’s first Electronic Music Convention

The Global Groove movement has attained major popularity in the international music scene. For the first time in India, 'Global Groove Music Convention & Festival' was held recently. The event was held at Tivoli Gardens, Chatterpur, New Delhi. Some of the best electronic acts along with many best-known international acts gathered at the event. Nafis Tahsin Ahmed Shubho of Live^2 Events-AM joined the major event as a delegate from Bangladesh. Here's what Nafis had to say about the convention:

OP-ED

Remembering Khuki

HISTORICAL moments make you introspective. January 28, 2010 is an historical moment when at long last the shame of Bangladesh has partially been removed with the carrying out of the death-sentence meted out to the murderers of Bangabandhu and his family.

Living with dignity

JANUARY 31 this year is being observed as the World Leprosy Day. Bangladesh has officially achieved the goal of elimination of leprosy (1 patient in a population of 10,000) set by WHO by the year 1998. However, there are several pockets of leprosy prevalence in some districts indicating that this goal remains to be struggled for at the regional level. The districts still having an alarming prevalence of cases include Gaibandha, Nilphamari, Sylhet, Khagrachhori, Bandorban, and in Dhaka and Chittagong metropolises. According to the National Leprosy Elimination Program, since 1985 till September 2009, a total of 188,585 leprosy cases have been detected, and of these, 180,343 persons have been cured of leprosy with multi-drug therapy in Bangladesh.

Sound and fury

WHEN BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia criticises Sheikh Hasina or her government on any matter, (or vice versa), it can be in most cases assumed that the latter must have done something good. The more severe the criticism, the higher is the chance of such assumption turning out to be true.


The Daily Star

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